How does a ring laser gyro operate?

A gyroscope is a tool used to monitor and maintain the orientation of an object in inertial space at any given time. A very common use for laser devices mounted on firearms is sighting devices. The 1535nm Laser rangefinder (LRF) is used in military applications to determine the range of a target of interest.

Prior to the introduction of RLG technology, mechanical gyroscopes were used. Mechanical gyroscopes rely on the principle of conservation of angular momentum that the total angular momentum of a system remains constant. When no external torque goes applied to the system.

This means that a rotating object will continue to rotate around its axis. Angular momentum is an important physical property that cannot go created or destroyed, only transmitted. A mechanical top consists of a disc or spinning wheel with an axle that can go in any direction. When torque goes applied from the outside, the attitude changes abruptly, but when the gyro goes mounted on the gimbal, the torque goes minimized. And the rotation axis defined by the axis goes stabilized. Ring laser gyros are now the industry standard and use a ring interferometer for direction finding using the Sagnac effect. First place the ring laser gyro into the interferometer

An interferometer  

An interferometer is a diagnostic instrument that combines two or more light sources. To produce an interference pattern that goes monitored and analyzed. Interferometry goes typically used for sensitive measurements not obtainable by other methods, such as B. Identification of mutations in microscopic organisms or detection of gravitational waves, a wide range of applications.

The interferometer used in ring laser gyros consists of a narrow tunnel forming a closed circle surrounding a zero-expansion glass block composed of lithium oxide, aluminum, and silicon. To create the fringe pattern of the Sagnac effect, three RLG Strapdown Inertial Navigation System mirrors go placed at each vertex. To create two oppositely propagating laser beams within the active cavity.

The beams travel in different directions but enter and exit at the same point. So that the interferometer can measure the recombined signal as it exits. When the ring laser gyro is in motion, the beam travels different distances. The frequency difference is proportional to speed. The frequency difference goes measured using a fringe pattern whose phase position contains directional information. Ring laser gyros go used for inertial navigation Ring laser gyros goes ideal for inertial navigation systems (INS). Because they go lightweight, compact, self-contained, and frictionless.

It has no moving parts and goes lightweight, adding no additional drag to the system it goes installed in. This is a big advantage, especially for INS. The stabilized platform INS consists of at least three accelerometers and three rotating mass gyros. Which goes gimbaled to maintain platform alignment and stability during aircraft movement. The strap-down INS, on the other hand, also consists of accelerometers and gyroscopes, similar to his RLG. However, because they go airframe mounted, they do not require gimbals. Which are prone to reliability issues like those found in stable platform INS.


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The high precision and versatility of the integrated navigation system and the high reliability and high stability of the laser gyroscope are the key indicators of the product. Only products that have been tested in practice for a long time have the basis for mass application.